The final route of the Kanal (Canal) Istanbul project, which was announced by President Recep Erdoğan in 2011, was revealed yesterday.
The project, planned as an alternative to the Bosporus Strait, will be located within the borders of the Avcılar, Küçükçekmece, Başakşehir and Arnavutköy districts on the European side of the city. All the infrastructure and superstructure to be built within the scope of the project will be within the borders of these districts.
After approval for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, the EIA process for the project started. As a result of studies carried out according to statements made in the EIA application file, the most suitable route was determined from among five alternative routes. Accordingly, the project will start from the isthmus that separates the Sea of Marmara from Lake Küçükçekmece, continue along the Sazlıdere Dam Basin, pass through the village of Sazlıbosna, the east of Dursunköy, the village of Baklalı and eventually reach the Black Sea east of Lake Terkos.
Approximately 7 kilometers of the canal's route will be located within the borders of Küçükçekmece, around 3.1 kilometers within the borders of Avcılar, approximately 6.5 kilometers within the borders of Başakşehir and the remaining 28.6 kilometers within the borders of the Arnavutköy district.
It is predicted that 5,000 people will work in the construction phase and another 1,000 people in the operation phase of the project, which is to be built with an investment of TL 60 billion ($15.6 billion). Meanwhile, details of the engineering work for the nearly 45-kilometer-long project continue. It is envisaged that the construction of the route, which will pass through Lake Küçükçekmece, Sazlıdere Dam and east of Lake Terkos, will be completed in five years, and its economic life will be 100 years provided that maintenance is done.
Public participation meetings will be held on dates to be specified by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning to inform the public about the investment and get their opinions and suggestions on the project. The meetings will be held in central regions that will be most affected by the project and an area to be determined with the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Environment and Urban Planning.
The Black Sea Container Port planned to be built along with the canal will be located to the east of the northern entrance of Kanal Istanbul. The planned port is also bordered by the Istanbul New Airport, one of the largest airports in the world, and also has a strategic position.
As part of the Kanal Istanbul project, three islands will be constructed, two to the left of the canal toward the Black Sea and one to the right, using material from the excavation.
There are also plans to build infrastructure and superstructure, such as harbors, marinas, fortifications and bulkhead lines, and an emergency response center for the operation of the canal, emergency docks, canal access and exit structures and shipping systems.